Divorce Clinic on ITV This Morning

Divorce | 24 Oct 2012 11

Earlier today I appeared on ITV This Morning, on the programme’s regular Divorce Clinic. Viewers called and emailed with their questions about divorce and Christmas.

I know it is only October, but This Morning has already received a startling number of queries from those who are anxious about what to do at Christmas time. If you are considering divorce, should you proceed now or wait until the New Year? If you are in the middle of divorce, what is going to happen at Christmas? What arrangements are in place for the children? And if your divorce is complete, you will know that although Christmas is a wonderful time, it can also be a stressful period when tempers flare and hostilities resurface.

I have posted previously about how, in the run-up to Christmas, new clients come to see us because the thought of another miserable festive season fills them with dread. My advice is to do whatever it takes to relieve the pressure and stay sane at Christmas time.

To this, I would add that if your relationship is in trouble or if there is already conflict between you and your former partner about divorce, money, the home or who will be looking after the children, you should take sensible action sooner rather than later. It is vitally important to make immediate or short-term financial arrangements, to stabilise and then to start to think about the future. You will need good advice so dont do it in bits and pieces.

There is no point in ignoring the elephant in the room. Relationship breakdown is one of the most grievious events that could ever happen to any of us. Respect the fallout and take action. Tell yourself this coming year isn’t going to be great so you can then cope. If it isn’t great, you’ve expected it. If it’s better than you thought (which it may well be) then that’s a bonus. But don’t ignore what needs to be done.

As for arrangements over Christmas, right now there is still time to resolve the situation amicably if this is possible, to instruct a solicitor or, if it comes to it, to go to court to finalise Christmas contact arrangements.

My next appearance on This Morning is scheduled for Wednesday 21 November 2012, when we will be examining child contact arrangements and enforcing contact orders in more detail.

The founder of Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers. She retired from Stowe Family Law in 2017.

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Comments(11)

  1. JamesB says:

    The question on what to do with the Dad who wouldn’t see his kids was a tricky one.
    I have heard it a few times and it is one of the reoccurring unanswerable ones and I think you regretted hearing it.
    I think your answer of going for a residence order was probably wrong, but you have an interest in making more divorces happen and I do not. Linked in to this is that divorce and separation are not nice and the outcomes and way people end up are often not nice.
    Faced with the situation the woman is in a bad place. If it were me I’d probably say she should try and make the most of it and hope that he will come to his senses.
    Quite often people embark on divorce thinking it will be nice. I do not think that bland statements such as yours that it is in the interests of the children to have a continuing relationship with both parents (while undermining that by encouraging couples to split) makes sense in the context you put it. Although I do accept that couples may need to split and divorces happen, I do think programmes such as these, Claire Rainer etc over the years give people unrealistice expectations and rose tinted glasses. The reality is often much worse. For example I remember my ex telling me everything will be alright, I’d have my house, she’d have her’s I’d pay maintenance and see the kids and everything will be fine and happy. Complete nonsense really.
    The reality is often that divorce sucks and often breads festering resentment, grudges, bad behaviour and upsetment and poverty all round.

  2. JamesB says:

    The reality has not been like that at all, there wasn’t enough money or time or anything really to do it like that and it hasn’t happened like that at all. The lie is that it usually does. In my experience, it usually only happens like that with rich people and women and people who watch this and think divorce good for them are usually being conned and regret the decision as my ex does! Very sad really, especially for the children. The vast majority of cases there isn’t enough money etc to go round.

  3. JamesB says:

    I can’t post for a while. All the best Marilyn, thanks for the blog, it is good.

  4. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Hi James
    Hope you are ok and look forward to more comments from you.
    I am there to give options to people. To let them know about the possibilities they have in law. I agree with you there are no quick fixes. However sometimes the legal process does mean that people engage and face up to their responsibilities.
    Best
    Marilyn
    X

  5. JamesB says:

    On a point of law, you cannot force the chap to see his kids. Best to you too, G x.

  6. JamesB says:

    I think you should have said that to her as the people who watch tv can be misled into thinking things in divorce are nicer than they often are.
    I have a friend who’s ex will not see their children and it is really hurting her and them and him bad and is not good. She tried court application, he didn’t turn up and the court did nothing, which I understand is the law standard? Unless you correct me.

  7. JamesB says:

    I have to spend more time with my fiancée and job, and maybe a prenup 😉 and also sorting my father’s care out I also have 2 or 3 other injury and insurance claims I am dealing with. I seem to have got involved with a lot of lawyers in recent years. I am not in the legal profession at all. I think as you get older that (law) can happen with the increased responsabilities.
    If Divorce sucks, The NHS Continuing care situation really sucks.

  8. JamesB says:

    At least it does in England and Wales, not sure about Scotland, think is different, and better there on that subject.

  9. JamesB says:

    Having had an acrimonious divorce b4 I do not think I could do that again for me or any of my kids.

  10. JamesB says:

    I would not like it for any of them to go through when they get older either and will try to prevent that.

  11. Greg says:

    My wife left me 18 months ago and we have a joint mortgage.
    She has not paid her share of the mortgage since she left. She is now asking me to sell the house. I have tried to arrange a mortgage for myself to keep the house, but with both negative and shared equity on the property, this is difficult. Does my wife have to pay part of the mortgage if she is not living in the house and if we sell will I get back any of the money as I have have been reducing the mortgage on my own?
    Thank you

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